MARSHALL - As a Subway franchise owner, Randy Wartner likes to try new things in his store.
This past June, the Subway in Marshall installed a new touch-screen kiosk for its drive-thru.
The Marshall Subway is one of 20 locations across the United States to have a touch-screen drive-thru kiosk. Wartner, who's been with Subway for 24 years, said the Montevideo Subway location implemented a touch-screen system at the same time, being the first ones in Minnesota.
Photo by Cindy Votruba
Subway of Marshall installed a new touch-screen drive-thru kiosk in June, being one of two in the state with the technology, which includes the store in Montevideo.
"The closest location (in the Midwest) is probably western Nebraska," Wartner said.
"We were just looking for a way to make our drive-thru more efficient," Wartner added. The plan was to make the ordering process easier for the customers, he said.
And in the last couple of months, customers either "really love it" or "really hate it," Wartner said.
"(We've had) tons of great comments," Wartner said.
Earlier this year, the Marshall Subway also added a new sandwich unit, which keeps hot meats on one side and has a cooler on the other side for cold drinks. Wartner was also named Subway franchisee of the year in Minnesota this past February. Other stores have taken notice of the new technology.
Wartner said he and staff are still figuring out the nuances of the new drive-thru system.
When customers come up the kiosk, the screen self-adjusts to the height of the vehicle, Wartner said. Then customers can choose whether they want a sandwich, salad or other menu items and what they want on their food.
But it's still a relatively new concept in the area, Wartner said.
"There's still tons of people who have never tried it (the new touch-screen)," Wartner said. "It's been going OK so far."
Down the road, Wartner said the hope is to have the touch-screen drive-thru kiosk to be able to "talk" or communicate with the computer terminals on the inside of the store, as the staff is currently re-ringing orders. Other plans include having customers be able to swipe a credit card as payment right at the kiosk.